Story: The Captain's Chair
Disclaimer: No profit, no canned goods, no beans that grow into
a beanstalk were made or traded during the production of this
Summary: The sequel to "Cold Feet", Will's thoughts prior to
a life altering event.
Notes: The companion piece to this story, "Cold Feet" can be
found here: http://188.8.131.52/imzadieverlasting/coldfeet.htm
I used to dream of the Captain’s chair, as cliché or boorish
as that may sound. The chair, for me, was a symbol: the focal
point of ambition, hard work, and yes… power, success, and status
- a means showing my father that I, too, could accomplish great
things. When I was younger it had been my center, as I eagerly
ate up any profession of loyalty and drive the Academy didn’t
have to work too hard to instill within me. I knew what I wanted,
I knew what I had to do to get it, and like any other determined
person - flushed with both youth and an irrational sense of immortality,
I wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way.
It’s funny how fate works, what time teaches us, and what lessons
destiny holds within her exhilarating grasp. I can still see
the Captain’s chair before me, tall and proud, warm and inviting
- a glorious beacon to a vagabond such as myself. But somewhere
along the way, during times that I can’t quite pinpoint or state
with utter certainty when they took place down to the second
- the chair was joined by other dreams, fantasies and wishes:
some of them small, some of them large, all of them infinitely
I wonder what Deanna would say if she saw me now, lost to my
reverie minutes before our wedding? No doubt she would smile,
understanding in a way that only she can. She is utterly beautiful
when she smiles. Actually, she is utterly beautiful regardless
of temperament: either angry with her big, dark eyes flashing
brilliantly; or lost to the throws of passion, writhing beneath
me, her face flushed with an ethereal glow of boundless desire
– but when she smiles she is luminescent. Her whole face lights
up, and the happiness just swirls around her – infectious, pleasing,
warm, and comforting; a balm to the weary and jaded.
If she were here, by my side, would she be amused to know that
my thoughts aren’t in the moment?
In an abstract way they are, for ultimately, no matter how out
there they may seem from one point to another, all thoughts during
deep reflection lead to where I am, who I am, and how it all
relates to her. The first time we met I was awed by her ability
to put me in a trance: to get me to slow down, think, look at
things from an objective perspective and contemplate my life
and my surroundings in a way I had never really taken the time
to do before. She had this natural ability, even then, to play
Devil’s Advocate, to question previously set in stone ideals,
and get anyone who got drawn into her exotic beauty and eerily
wise persona to truly consider all aspects of life and paint
a more well rounded portrait.
And now, as I wait to pledge the rest of my life by her side,
I find myself wanting this feeling to last forever, with me nervous,
yet hopeful, dazed yet exhilarated and more truly alive than
I can ever remember experiencing while simultaneously knowing
that I am exactly where I want to be.
It has been a hell of a journey to reach this point.
Four years ago we left the Briar Patch, tired yet invigorated,
wizened yet giddy: the youthful radiation from that small patch
of space having nothing short of a profound effect on all of
us. I suppose others could point to that time and mark it as
the instant either Deanna or I ‘woke up' and realized that the
dance we had been swirling in all those years ago, continuously
circling around one another but never quite making contact, had
come to a wonderful climax. The truth was that the Briar Patch
was simply an excuse, an exonerate to culminate something that
had been building for ages - the awakening that came more from
time, insight, knowledge, and want then it did from metaphysical
Our relationship had never been uncomplicated, but I recently
discovered that there was simplicity even in complication. The
bottom line had been that I wanted her: I wanted to be with her,
enjoy her, wanted her to love me… and I had wanted all of that
for a very long time. I have no doubt that Deanna would teasingly
huff at that assessment, stating knowingly that there was never
really a bottom line, and there had to be more to my abject need
than that, for ‘want’ was made up of many different facets. But
somewhere along the lines, she had joined in that vision of the
Captain’s chair; perched lovingly on its armrest as she smiled
at me in that enigmatic, Deanna type way, and I was happy, ecstatic,
that she was there. That was all that mattered.
We had both worked hard to reach that point, for the two of us
to be ready to accept what ‘imzadi’ really meant for us, and
for me to get over the fact that there had been a time when I
had hurt her so desperately.
It had been Deanna who had suggested that we keep things professional
between us after we realized we were to serve together on the
Enterprise after two years of being a part. It was also Deanna
who suggested that we might be friends, and as painful as it
is to admit, she had been right to initiate those stunning twists
of fate on both counts. I had not been ready for her then, had
not been ready for the life lessons and experiences she had to
teach me, just as I had not been ready when I had left her behind
on Betazed all those years ago with the faint promise of more.
And in her own way Deanna had understood that better than I had.
She would tease and soothe me, challenge and frustrate me, force
me to take off blinders I felt comfortable having, and call me
on any action she deemed arrogant or pompous, all the while shaking
her head in her bemused way, daring me to better myself.
I remember one instance in particular, early on during our service
to the Enterprise, she watched quietly as I helped play host
to a small group of Starfleet Admirals we were shuttling around.
One of them had asked me when they were going to see me as Captain
to my own vessel and I had replied with my trademark at the time…
“As soon as you’ll have me. There is nothing I want more than
to be captain.”
The Admirals had laughed at that, patting me on the back, doting
over me while professing that I’d achieve my ambition soon enough,
and Deanna had been silent the whole time, eyeing me curiously,
and with a raised eyebrow - the only one in the room unmoved
by my response. It wasn’t until everyone had retired for the
evening, and Deanna and I were walking together down the corridor
that I called her on her reaction.
“Okay, Deanna, out with it. What is going on in that pretty little
head of yours?” I had teased, knowing her well enough to practically
see the wheels turning in her mind.
And she looked at me then, blinking only once, causing me to
fidget under the uncomfortable weight of her stare before finally
asking… “Why do you want to be Captain, Will? Really?”
At the time I had been shocked by that, because I had been so
sure of myself, so sure of what I wanted, that it stunned me
that she could question my determination. “Of course I know
why I want it. I want it because it is my goal, what I’ve trained
for. I believe in Starfleet, I like command. I live for exploring
new worlds, and seeking out new life and new civilizations. Captain
is the perfect position for me.”
She smiled then, not in joy, but in amusement, as if she had
expected that answer and could have probably quoted it to me
verbatim before I had stated it.
“That is a very good answer for an officer to give, Will. Very
text book of you. Did you put that on a test once at the Academy?
I’m sure you got high marks,” she responded wryly, crossing her
arms over her chest in challenge. It wasn’t the words so much
that bothered me, it was the tone she used to say them, for she
didn’t say it mockingly, but factually, as if she believed what
she was saying to be true. And what had been more irksome still
was that she had been right, I had answered that on a test once.
“Do me a favor?” she continued while I was still too shocked
to respond, and could do little more than nod. “Write down your
reasons for wanting to be Captain in your personal log. Don’t
leave anything out, list everything and anything you feel about
achieving your goal, no matter how silly or trivial it may seem.
And go back to that list every once in awhile, add to it, revise
it, take things out that no longer apply… see where it takes
you,” and with that she smiled again, more warmly this time,
and continued on her way to her quarters, leaving me behind,
too stunned over the whole exchange to follow.
It wasn’t until I had been offered my first command that I had
understood what she had been trying to tell me… I wasn’t ready
yet, and the reason I wasn’t ready was because I wasn’t as sure
of myself as I continually portrayed. I still had a lot to learn,
even if I didn’t want to admit it. Needless to say I took her
advice, and I kept steadfast track of all thoughts pertaining
to my career. Sometimes it shocked me to go back and look at
that list in its early stages, it forced me to confront how much
I did, in fact, change over time, and how much my beliefs had
grown and expanded.
But Deanna had known, somehow, someway. There are times when
I am certain she knows me better than I know myself, and it was
later that I was finally able to admit to her that another reason
I had been unready to accept the Captain’s chair was that I had
been unwilling to leave her behind. Even back then, even when
we hid our feelings for each other under the safe guise of friendship.
But I think she knew that too. We excelled at reading between
the lines, Deanna, and I. For years it was all we could do, professing
our love not with words, and not with actions, but with innuendoes,
unwavering support, and occasional, penetrating glances.
Deanna was not entirely infallible. She didn’t always have the
answers, a fact that I occasionally and teasingly confront her
with, every now and then when I'm feeling brave. Sometimes it's
nearly impossible to get her to open up, to admit to her own
feelings the way that others confide in her. The two of us weren’t
so different when it comes down to it. We both have our unique
quirks and insecurities. I like to think that while I had been
learning from her, she had been taking lessons from me - we had
taken the best of ourselves from each other.
When she had come to me about taking the Bridge Officers test
to pursue more command type experiences than her counselor’s
position usually allotted; it hadn’t really surprised me. As
I had been growing, expanding in knowledge and experience; so
had she. So there were many sides to things in life, and motivations
usually stemmed from reasoning, but there was a hint of ambition
in all of us, this drive to better ourselves, to cover many nuances
of life through the windows of opportunity and she felt that
as well as I did… as well as anybody did.
I never admitted to her that it bothered me that my previous
promiscuous lifestyle didn’t bother her, or if it did she didn’t
show it - not that I purposely set out to make her jealous with
any of my liaisons while we had been friends. The truth of the
matter was that I had my own means of learning and growing, and
one aspect of that is pleasure in its many forms. It wasn't about
lust, or conquest - having sex, for me, had little to do with
a notch in the bed post, or a number in a ‘little black book’,
it was about, exploring, giving, taking, reaching an incomprehensible
peek and feeling, if not for just a moment, really alive. It
was this sudden rush of exhilaration, like flying through space
or viewing Earth from the window of a starship. I had always
been grateful to the woman that had shared this experience with
me, but I had never loved any of them, not really. I had only
been in love once in my lifetime.
I had tried to explain this to Deanna once, years ago, leaving
out any details that might disturb the status quo of our relationship
at the time and she had flashed a saucy grin, taking me off guard
by leaning forward and placing her palm flat on my chest over
“When you’re with these women, Will, what do you feel… in here?”
she asked, lightly thumping my chest with her hand.
“Nothing. You’re missing the point,” I had told her frankly,
meeting her eyes.
She snorted then, shaking her head, obviously amused, much to
my escalating frustration.
“No, I get it. I’m not a nun. I understand what pleasure is,
but I look at things from a different point of view. From my
perspective the purist form of pleasure comes when it combines
the needs of the body with the needs of the heart and the mind,”
she said with a smile. “Only then can you experience true fulfillment.
But you have to be ready for it; you have to want it. It can’t
be forced, or learned… it has to be trusted.”
And trust, as I had learned the hard way throughout my life,
was easier said than done. To give one’s heart over to another
entirely was the ultimate show of trust, of faith: the culmination
to nearly a lifetime of sharing experiences, of being there during
happy times and sad, of showing encouragement when it was needed
and lending a hand that might not have been asked for originally,
but appreciated nonetheless.
I had always been in love with Deanna Troi - no matter how repressed
that fact may have been at certain points throughout our relationship,
but what surprised me was when I had come to realized that I
trusted her in a way I hadn’t previously deemed remotely possible.
Somewhere during the course of our growth she had touched this
part of me that opened the floodgates to a wealth of emotions,
feelings, and motions in a way that I couldn’t imagine a life
without her... I didn’t want to.
And making love with her was about the body, the heart, and the
mind - the truest from of pleasure freely given.
The bond we share sometimes frightens me, but it’s what Deanna
would call ‘a good kind of scared - the kind that keeps you on
your toes, and keeps life interesting.’ It’s eerie to be read
by someone so clearly, to have them understand you without trying,
but it’s also wonderful… wonderful and pretty damn miraculous.
So here I stand, my whole future before me, that Captain’s chair
closer than ever before and finally… I am ready for it. Not as
a single entity, but with a partner - as a pair. It took me years
of being alone to come to the basic understanding that I didn’t
have to be, and that all goals were infinitely sweeter when I
have Deanna there to share them with me.
And together we were about to embark on yet another journey:
with more to be learned, and more to be gained, new knowledge
to collect, and more obstacles to face, but this we have each
other and I wouldn’t have it any other way.